March 9, 2022

VUMC observes National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Vanderbilt University Medical Center will celebrate National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 13-19 with a series of events designed to spread awareness for patient safety throughout the Medical Center campus and its regional hospitals.

The annual national initiative, sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is designed to encourage people inside and outside of health care to learn more about health care safety. During the week, the institute seeks to advance discussions locally and globally and inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system, for patients and the workforce.

“The safety and wellbeing of our patients and employees is always our foremost priority. I want to recognize the dedication and hard work going on every day by each member of our team to provide our patients the very best care,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “I hope everyone will join in the recognition of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, acknowledging and celebrating their efforts to improve the safety of our work environment and the quality of care we provide.”

Although there has been much progress made in patient safety over the past two decades, current estimates cite medical harm as a leading cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries.

VUMC has implemented across the Medical Center and its regional hospitals the Good Catch Program that has resulted in several hundred staff, residents and faculty being nominated by their leaders and peers for their efforts to ensure patient safety.

The program:

  • Encourages staff to elevate their peers for “catching” opportunities related to quality or safety and intervening appropriately.
  • Allows the organization to recognize the efforts of staff who ‘catch’ errors or near misses from impacting others. Team members are awarded baseballs signed by their leadership team and presented in the team member’s area.

“Our VUMC team members make patient safety personal each and every day through interventions unique to our patients and families,” said Jenny Slayton, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention. “From preventing infections and falls to promoting preventive care, across our hospitals and clinics team members are demonstrating their commitment to patient safety.  The National Patient Safety Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate our teams as well as continue to elevate awareness around patient safety.”

Events planned at VUMC for the week include:

  • Roving Carts – Leadership will round in various Inpatient/Outpatient areas with Quality partners.
  • Miss Mayhem Puzzle –Staff will be encouraged to find various patient safety errors located in the puzzle, which will be available through nurse alerts and on the units. Submissions will be made via RedCap and winners will receive a $25 Amazon card.
  • Improving Patient Safety – Ideas and Innovations – Staff are encouraged to submit ideas on how to improve patient safety at VUMC. Submissions via RedCap will be entered into a raffle to win VUMC gift baskets courtesy of the Gift Shop.
  • Wear Purple for Patient Safety Friday on March 18 – Employees will be encouraged to wear purple in recognition of National Patient Safety Awareness Week and to take individual or team photos in purple attire and upload to social media using the hashtag #VUMCPatientSafetyWeek or #AlohaPatientSafetyWeek.

For more information on National Patient Safety Week, visit